United States District Court, D. New Jersey
TRUSTEES OF THE UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 312 BENEFIT FUND (F/K/A THE UFCW LOCAL 312 HEALTH FUND) FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND SAID FUND, AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES, Plaintiffs,
MEG TACKLE IMPORTS, INC., Defendant.
Michael A. Shipp United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court upon the Motion for Default
Judgment of Trustees of the United Food and Commercial
Workers Union Local 312 Benefit Fund (F/K/A the UFCW Local
312 Health Fund) for and on Behalf of Themselves and Said
Fund, and the Board of Trustees (collectively
"Plaintiffs"). (ECF No. 6.) Plaintiffs brought suit
against Meg Tackle Imports, Inc. ("Meg Tackle" or
"Defendant") under the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") and the
Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 ("LMRA"),
seeking to collect delinquent employer contributions to
employee benefit plans that Defendant was required to
withhold from its employees' pay. (Compl. 1, ECF No. 1.)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows a court
"to enter a default judgment against a properly served
defendant who fails to file a timely responsive
pleading." Chanel, Inc. v. Gordashevsky, 558
F.Supp.2d 532, 535 (D.N.J. 2008). "A court obtains
personal jurisdiction over the parties when the complaint and
summons are properly served upon the defendant. Effective
service of process is therefore a prerequisite to proceeding
further in a case." Lampe v. Xouth, Inc., 952
F.2d 697, 700-01 (3d Cir. 1991). Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 4(h)(1)(B) provides that a corporation must be
served by "delivering a copy of the summons and of the
complaint to an officer, a managing or general agent, or any
other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive
service of process." Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(h)(1)(B).
Complaint alleges that "[u]pon information and belief,
Defendant Meg Tackle maintains their principal place of
business at 8 Elkins Road Suite B, East Brunswick, New Jersey
08816" ("Elkins Road address"). (Compl. ¶
10, ECF No. I.) Plaintiffs also requested that the Clerk
issue a summons for the Elkins Road address. (ECF No. 1-2.)
In addition, the Civil Cover Sheet Plaintiffs filed with
their Complaint lists "Middlesex" as
Defendant's county of residence. (ECF No, 1-1.) In
support of their Motion for Default Judgment, however,
Service of the Summons and Complaint was made on Defendant
Meg Tackle Imports, Inc., c/o Mendel Jaroslawicz, on August
16, 2018, by personally serving Jane Doe, who stated that
he/she is authorized to accept service of process on behalf
of the corporation, at 1034 Rose Street, Far Rockaway, New
York, 11691. A Copy of the Proof of Service executed by
Guaranteed Subpoena Services, Inc. is attached hereto as
Exhibit "C" to this certification.
(ECF No. 6-1.)
Motion, however, does not account for the discrepancy between
Plaintiffs did not include a legal brief in support of their
Motion. Instead, Plaintiffs stated that "[n]o brief is
necessary as the issues herein are straightforward."
(ECF No. 6.) Here, the Court finds that the issue of service
on an unnamed, out-of-state Jane Doe on behalf of the
corporation is not straightforward. Rather, the Court finds
good cause to require Plaintiffs to submit a legal brief in
support of their Motion. As the issue of service is a
threshold issue, the Court does not reach other potential
issues with Plaintiffs' Motion.
on the foregoing, IT IS on this 9th day of October 2019,
hereby ORDERED that:
Plaintiffs' Motion for Default Judgment (ECF No. 6) is
denied without prejudice.
November 12, 2019, Plaintiffs may file a renewed motion for
default judgment. The motion should be accompanied by a
Certification that accounts for the discrepancies between
addresses. The motion should also be supported by a legal
brief in conformance with L. Civ. R. 7.1(d).
Plaintiff must serve a copy of this Order upon Defendant by
October 21, 2019.